Better Place will install and manage charging stations located at the Sheraton Waikiki Resort and three Hawaiian Electric sites. Two EVs will be tasked with handling fleet duties and guest shuttle services at at the island resort while Better Place will handle the logistics of networked charging from a remote operations center in Palo Alto, CA. Though initially small in scale, Better Place's super-sized electric dreams for Hawaii include widespread commercial infrastructure deployment and visions of nothing but EVs traveling along the island's coastal roadways and bounding down its city streets.
[Source: Better Place | Image: skyseeker - C.C. License 2.0]
Better Place, Sheraton Waikiki and Hawaiian Electric Partner on EV Charge Network in Hawaii
September 30, 2010
HONOLULU (Sept. 30, 2010) – Better Place announced today the start of its initial deployment of EV infrastructure in Hawaii, with the launch of a project to incorporate its electric-vehicle infrastructure in Honolulu, in partnership with Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts' Sheraton Waikiki Resort and Hawaiian Electric Company. The project will start with a small number of charge spots in Waikiki and around Oahu and includes seven electric vehicles. Better Place will manage the charging of the vehicles via a network operations center located in Palo Alto, California.
"Hawaii's commitment to being a world leader in renewable energy, as demonstrated by the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, aligns very strongly with our mission to help end the world's reliance on oil," said Jason Wolf, Vice President of Better Place's North American Operations. "This project marks the beginning of our initial, pre-commercial infrastructure deployment in Hawaii. It supports the state's goal of leading the nation in renewable energy use, which Better Place will integrate into the grid via electric cars."
Better Place was among five clean-energy companies awarded funding from the Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture (HREDV), a project of the local nonprofit Pacific International Center for High Technology Research that allocates U.S. Department of Energy funds.
"The role of HREDV is to accelerate commercialization of these clean-tech projects so that private investors and customers can follow with increased confidence," said HREDV project director Maurice Kaya. "The winning companies showed how their technologies could be game-changers in Hawaii and demonstrated strong technical and management expertise to execute the projects and manage federal funds."
Better Place's initial charging stations will be based at partner Kyo-ya Hotel & Resorts' Sheraton Waikiki Resort where two electric vehicles will be used as fleet vehicles and guest shuttles. Other charging stations will be at three Hawaiian Electric sites. Hawaiian Electric has been collaborating with Better Place on the infrastructure and energy needs to power the public charging spots with renewable energy and this program will further advance that collaboration. The Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies, which will provide the facilities for maintenance, will also have charge infrastructure onsite.
The deployment of the infrastructure is expected to begin in early 2011, with the focus of the project on measuring vehicle performance, battery-charging metrics, the impact on the electrical grid, driver behavior and the software systems that manage the charging network.
"Electric vehicles will be an essential tool to reduce Hawaii's dependence on imported oil and to integrate more renewable energy on electric grids in Hawaii," said Robbie Alm, Hawaiian Electric executive vice president. "Combined with the proposed electric vehicle charging pilot rates we have submitted for approval to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, this project will give us valuable experience as all kinds of electric vehicles and charge stations begin appearing in Hawaii."
Greg Dickhens of Kyo-ya said, "Hawaii is the perfect place to bring electric cars and we are proud to be part of this landmark project. Waikiki presents an enormous opportunity to showcase the feasibility of electric cars to visitors from around the world as well as to our local community, all of whom will see the benefits these clean cars will have in keeping our islands clean for generations to come."
Kyo-ya will operate two of the electric vehicles. The remaining five will be owned by Hawaiian Electric. In addition, the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute/University of Hawaii will be a research partner conducting data acquisition and analysis, reporting on vehicle and recharge performance and grid and driver behavior.
The project will cost approximately $1.1 million, of which about $500,000 in funding will come from the U.S. Department of Energy. Better Place, which was launched in 2007 and started its Hawaii operations in December 2008, is the prime contractor and operator and will provide project management, charge spots, network management and software.
About Better Place
Better Place, the leading electric vehicle services provider, is accelerating the global transition to sustainable transportation. Better Place is building the infrastructure and intelligent network to deliver a range of services to drivers, enable widespread adoption of electric vehicles, and optimize energy use. The Better Place network addresses historical limitations to adoption by providing unlimited driving range in a convenient and accessible manner. The company works with all parts of the transportation ecosystem, including automakers, battery suppliers, energy companies, and the public sector, to create a compelling solution. Based in California and privately held, Better Place has operating companies in Israel, Denmark, and Australia. More information is available at http://www.betterplace.com.
About Hawaiian Electric
Hawaiian Electric Company and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric Company and Hawaii Electric Light Company, serve more than 400,000 customers on the islands of Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, Lanai and Molokai, home to 95% of Hawaii's people. It is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries (NYSE: HE). In a changing world, the Hawaiian Electric companies are taking the lead in adding renewable energy and helping customers use energy more efficiently to achieve a clean energy future for Hawaii. For more information, visit www.heco.com.
Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts owns seven hotels, five in Hawaii, one in San Francisco, and one in Orlando. The company employs more than 4,000 people. Kyo-ya provides its guests with the modern amenities and freshness they expect at each of its properties: the Sheraton Waikiki Resort, the Moana Surfrider Hotel, A Westin Resort and Spa; the Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, the Sheraton Princess Ka'iulani, the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa; The Palace Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel (San Francisco), and the Villas at Grand Cypress (Orlando).